Bar Rescue, at the time of this writing is two seasons deep, and moving toward a third. Airing on Spike TV, this “reality” show is currently one of my favorites. If you have any interest in the bar and nightclub business this series is definitely worth watching.
Bar Rescue stars Jon Taffer, an industry big-wig who specializes in turning failing bars into lucrative establishments. At the beginning of each episode he sends one of his helpers into the featured bar to assess just how bad off it really is. (Read More)
An additional 300,000 wealthy French were expected to flea France's oppressive tax climate along with the actor.
Depardieu originally sought tax refuge in Belgium after the French government attempted to enforce a 75% tax on wealthy citizens, but recently Russian President Vladimir Putin granted the actor citizenship. Russia has a flat tax of 13%.
That's right commies, higher taxes on wealthy citizens drive them and their money away. So instead of stealing the majority of the millionaire's money, France gets ... nothing. How are they gonna pay for their pet social programs now?
I couldn't help but notice that upon the list of potential countries with a "friendlier" tax climate, the United States was NOT amongst them. When the former communist world-power is more attractive to entrepreneurs, and millionaires than the United States, you know we're in bad shape.
As if that was not bad enough, the Congressional Budget Office warns that unless the government extends the Bush-era tax cuts, and cuts entitlement spending, the United States is on course for another recession by the end of 2012. Essentially, the government needs to bring in more revenue and cut spending.
Cutting spending seems obvious enough: the less you spend; the more you keep. Whether it’s “entitlements” or other government programs (I’m in favor of cutting congressional pay and benefits) government spending must be drastically reduced. It is the subject of raising revenue however, that I’m going to address here because it seems a little less obvious, especially to people who are not so economically inclined.
Obama’s plan is to raise taxes, and he has no plan to affectively deal with spending. This is disastrous policy for the United States. Raising taxes will only serve to further cripple the US economy. We need to keep corporate and capital gains taxes low.
That’s right; the government will bring in more money by lowering taxes. I know it seems counterintuitive, but many of life’s best insights are.
Higher taxes represent higher costs to investment, which in turn means more financial risk to investors. This means fewer people will be as eager to invest in business, which includes hiring employees, since there is more risk. In general this will cause the overall incomes of all Americans to be reduced: the rich and the poor. Wealthier business owners and investors will earn less taxable income. Businesses will employ fewer people who would earn taxable income, with less incentive to hire more. This will cause fewer tax dollars to be collected by the IRS, and overall government revenue will decrease. In more severe taxing situations this even leads to capital flight, which devastates economies.
With less investment, the economy will slip into recession, bringing the American standard of living down, driving more people into poverty. With less tax revenue, the government will also have less money to spend on relief efforts for the poor. This is a recipe for American misery.
However, with lower taxes on business and investment there is less risk and cost to the financially ambitious, and they (we) will be more prone to make investments which overall will increase taxable incomes. With higher rewards and fewer expenses on investment, individuals and corporations will have more money and inclination to invest in small businesses or hire more employees (whose incomes are also taxable). Money will flow throughout society more readily as new business ventures spring up bringing more employment opportunities along with them, and paving the way for technological and economic progress. More investment, more business, more employees equal more taxable dollars thereby creating more revenue for the government to spend on programs, “entitlements,” and relief efforts.
So, as odd as it may seem to people less economically inclined: raising taxes will mean less revenue for government, while keeping taxes low on business and investment would mean more money for government. It really is that simple.
Ted Nugent wrote and excellent article in the Washington Times on poverty in the United States that bluntly explains the real cause of poverty: “Poor people are poor because they make poor decisions.” This is the sad truth that is so often ignored by those with good hearts and naïve sentiments. Read the full article here.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1964, Washington Square Press, New York
Marxism is the bedrock and foundation of communism. This tyrannical philosophy did not meet its end with the demise of the Soviet Union. It is still very much an active threat to liberty today. Proponents of Marxism seek to undermine capitalism at all points and they have learned to use the political system expertly to achieve their aims. What are those aims? To centralize all authority over your life and finances in the hands of an all-powerful and uncompromising state, seeking global domination.
Marxism and communism are rooted in the essay Bourgeois and Proletarians by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, found in the Communist Manifesto, first published in 1884.
The primary theme of Marxism is class warfare. Marx opens his essay with the bold and all-encompassing statement that the entire history of “all hitherto existing society” [later revised to exclude traditional “native” societies] is characterized by class struggles. In short, there is always, in all situations class antagonism between an oppressor and an oppressed. Modern “capitalist” society, he says is no different from medieval society. Instead of titles like “lord” and “serf,” we now have a dichotomous class distinction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The only solution, Marx says is open and “violent” revolution.
The bourgeoisie is initially defined as “the class of modern capitalists, owners of means of social production and employers of wage-labor” (57), but is eventually revealed to also include the middle class property owner. The bourgeoisie are driven by economic and technological development. The historical development in these areas created “industrial millionaires”—the bourgeoisie, successful business people responsible for toppling Feudalism and creating a society where technology and education are available to all. Instead of creating a more liberated society however, Marx claims the bourgeoisie have only created “new forms of oppression.” Marx believed that Representative government only serves to manage the affairs of the bourgeoisie.
The proletariat is defined as “the class of modern wage-laborers who, having no means of their own, are reduced to selling their labor in order to live” (57). Marx presents the idea of an isolated working class, a people without hope of improving their lives. Marx argues that workers are enslaved by the bourgeoisie, most especially the manufacturer. Once the worker has been paid by his employer, “he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.” (70).
The proletariat is supposed to represent the “immense majority” who own no property and supposedly have no power or control over their lives. Their mission in life is to enviously destroy the property and wealth of those who do. Marx explains that as wealth becomes concentrated in fewer hands, the bourgeoisie is shrinking in number. Those who washout of the bourgeoisie, become proletarians (since Marxist theory only allows for these two “classes”). These washouts “boost the intellectual acumen” of the proletariat. Marx also recognizes that the “social scum” may be absorbed into the movement as a “bribed tool.”
The bourgeoisie constantly strive for progress, causing older, less efficient methods of production to be replaced by newer, more advance technologies. Marx denigrates this, claiming that the economic value of labor is decreased because technological advancement makes jobs easier to perform. Marx complains that this has caused women’s labor in bourgeois society to be worth as much or more than a man’s. He decries the fact that industrialism has put people on equal economic footing despite age or sex. He also complains that technology has caused the world to become more integrated with disparate countries now sharing in each other’s cultures.
Modern industry offers commodities at such inexpensive prices that demand is created by the people’s desire to obtain these inexpensive goods. With the increase in industry, the proletariat grows and becomes concentrated in greater numbers. Due to competition in the workforce, wages fluctuate, requiring worker’s unions to develop in order to keep wages at a fixed minimum. On occasion riots are necessary to further the proletarian cause.
Technological advancement in the traffic of information has allowed the proletariat to interact to the degree that they can now more quickly and efficiently organize themselves into a political party. Since the bourgeoisie has created an environment in which technology and education are available to all, the proletariat must now use those benefits against them to destroy the very source of those benefits.
The ultimate goal of Marxism is violent communist revolution. The first goal of the proletariat is to stage a successful revolution in their own countries, and then unite throughout the world in order to create a communist world order. Marx explained that the score can only be settled when “that war breaks out into open revolution and where that violent overthrow or the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat ” (p 77). To accomplish this, the proletariat must first organize themselves into a class and “wrest all capital, by degrees, from the bourgeoisie,” and “centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state” (p 93, emphasis added).
In order to support and maintain this statism, Marx planned to destroy the family by replacing home education with social education (p 89), and abolishing all personal property and inheritance. He also planned to abolish countries, nationality and all “eternal truths,” all religion, and all morality including Freedom and Justice (p 92, emphasis added). In order to accomplish this goal: “Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things” (p 116).
This is Marxism at its core: class warfare based on the politics of envy. It looks toward an omnipotent state to manage the affairs of the people. Marxism’s long-term goal is global communism, and the abolition of national identity. It is anti-freedom and scoffs at ideas like justice, and morality. It views technological advancement as a detriment to society and ignores any concept of personal responsibility for the proletariat. This ideology is covertly and sometimes naively promoted under various liberal pseudonyms, often uncited in order to avoid the stigma of the word “Marxist.” It is quite possibly the most dangerous philosophy at work in society today, especially for people who value freedom, independence, and justice.
The Communist Manifesto ends with these words: “Working men of all countries unite!”
Union organizer Andy Stern uses Marxist language to promote his agenda.
A lot of people have criticized “Occupy Wall Street” for not having a unified message. Supporters and detractors of OWS have both pointed out that there is a wide range of personalities involved from professors, and blue collar laborers to chronically unemployed hippies and starving artists. There are vegetarians, greenies, anarchists, and socialists. There is even the occasional war veteran who pops up from time to time.
OWS might seem like an unfocused hodgepodge of leftist causes, but the people who criticize it for not having a unified message are missing the obvious. It’s on the majority of their signs, it’s on the webpage, and it’s the battle cry common amongst all the followers of this current political fashion. It is the fiction of the 99%.
Visit occupywallst.org and read it for yourself:
“The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.” (December 13, 2011)
This is neo-Marxist rhetoric, presented in such a way as to not set off too many “red flags” for the average American who lived during the Cold War.
The central doctrine of Marxism is that capitalist society is characterized by antagonism between two classes: the bourgeoisie (wealthy/business owner minority) and the proletariat (working class majority). To Marx the capitalist system is divisible only into these two demographics and the bourgeoisie actively oppress the proletariat.
OWS uses a statistically derived and slightly dumbed-down revision of Marxist theory. In place of proletariat they use the term “99%,” and the “1%” is the bourgeoisie.
For Marx, there was only one solution to this “oppressive” arrangement: open and violent revolution.
This is the philosophical basis for the “Occupy” movement. The saddest part is that I don’t even think the majority of OWS supporters even realize they are Marxists. Over the past generation Marxism has been worked into the social and political mainstream by proponents of so-called “Marxian Theory,” a less “politically charged” term based off of the same essay by Karl Marx*. OWS is nothing more than the current fruition of that indoctrination.
This is why you can talk to OWS supporters or peruse hundreds of youtube videos of OWS activists crying (in some cases literally) about wanting to “replace capitalism.” Ask them what they want to replace it with, and they can’t tell you, but get them talking, and they reveal their Marxist sentiments.
OWS is a neo-Marxist, communist movement, and that is precisely what is wrong with it. Even if they occasionally correctly identify a problem, their solutions are unrealistic and harmful because they are based in Marxism.
In truth, the top income earners pay the vast majority of this country’s taxes—funding entitlements, national defense, and infrastructure. Because of the investments of the rich, we have a standard of living much higher than the vast majority of the world. American poor are rich by comparison to the poor in most of the world’s countries. In a free capitalist county, the more and wealthier the rich, the wealthier that nation’s poor are.
Raised in a culture of entitlement, spoiled by American excess, financially and economically illiterate, and indoctrinated with Marxist theory, it’s no wonder that so many of these “occupiers” feel lost, adrift in a scary world of big corporations and 15 trillion dollar debt.
* “Marxian Theory” was devised through the application of “Bourgeois and Proletarians” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, found in the Communist Manifesto.
The Port of Portland shut down by Occupy Portland today only hurts the “99%.”
OWS protestors in Portland, Oregon caused the shutdown of the Port of Portland. As a result $9million worth of wages were lost. What that means is workers lost $9million today, because they could not get to work to earn it.
So, thanks to Occupy Portland the "1%" business owners got to hold on to $9million, while the "99%" workers got nothing. Workers, whom rely on that money to pay their bills and feed their children won't get paid. $9million will not enter the local economy to support the jobs of other workers, retailers, and service providers. Neither will the supplies needed to maintain the local economy.
The average person, the poor, and the middle class are the only ones who are really hurt by this, and it’s all to the credit of “Occupy Wall Street” and her subsidiaries. I’m so glad they’re looking out for the proletariat.
We all talk about starting a business as a means to wealth. This seems reasonable, but for the average impoverished person this really means very little. “How do I go into business without any means and possibly no idea what market to go into?”
First you have to realize that you already are in business. YOU are your business. Your life and your body is your corporation. As Dave Ramsey says; “You are the CEO of Me Incorporated.” As soon as you realize that whether you have a business license or not, whether you are technically an employee in someone else’s business or not, you are in fact self-employed. If you get your paycheck from a single source you are in fact a corporation with a single client.
Even fortune five-hundred company owners have employers. These are often called customers, clients, or investors but they are in fact the employers whom provide the revenue for the business and pay the salaries of the owners, management, and employees of the company. As an employee, your employer is the investor in or financier of your business, even if your business is operating a broom at the local McDonald’s.
There is a sort of magic to your thinking. If you see yourself as just an employee, a worker rather than a businessman, you are likely to fall into the complacency of wage slavery. Here you wind up working just for the money, often a lesser amount than you are capable of earning. But when you realize that your life is a business you are empowered by seeing yourself as a business owner: the CEO of You Inc. Jobs become streams or revenue, money becomes cashflow and capital. You should be compelled to learn more about business and as your knowledge of the subject increases the more prepared you will become to consider operating your own corporation.
A major factor important to anyone’s success is mindset and perspective. So adopt the mindset that you are already self-employed. You are already a business owner, whether that business is doing well or doing poorly. The same principles used by a successful corporation can be applied to your own life. This works whether you are married or single, have children or are childless. The only difference is the number of ‘shareholders’ to whom you may have a fiduciary responsibility.
The current buzz in the political environment is that Donald Trump will be hosting a Newsmax sponsored Republican debate in Iowa on December 27, 2011.
Since this announcement Ron Paul, John Huntsman, and Mitt Romney have decided not to attend the debate. The Ron Paul campaign specifically explained that allowing a “reality star” to host a presidential debate is “beneath the office of the presidency.”
To suggest that “the Donald” is just another reality star shows either a bewildering lack of discernment or a perturbing level of disingenuousness on the part of whoever asserts that perspective.
More than just a shrewd businessman, Trump is no stranger to balancing billion dollar budgets, or making domestic and international deals that affect countless people’s lives. Trump probably has a more thorough and realistic working grasp on economics than the majority of the members of congress, and absolutely the current occupant of the Oval Office. The level of power, success, and influence on which Trump operates is far from “below the office of the President.” It is nearer to an equal footing. And with the American and global economy in shambles it’s more than appropriate for presidential candidates to face a potential barrage of economic questions from someone who actually understands that level of finance because he lives it. That’s why, after decades of success in business Trump was given a television show about entrepreneurship.
To place Trump on the same level as Snookie is the height of stupidity.
I believe Trump will make a good moderator for the December 27 Republican debate for a number of reasons, some which have already been stated by Newsmax. Most Republicans have a respect for Trump’s knowledge of business and economics. He’s an outsider both with the Washington and media establishments. With his knowledge and experience of economics, he’s likely to deal directly with some substantive economic issues that up till now have been mostly neglected in previous debates.
To suggest that Trump moderating a debate is somehow beneath the office of the president is almost an indictment of business. It says that the economic is not as important a political concern as the legislative. But anyone with the slightest grasp on reality understands why politicians often seek out highly successful businessmen as their economic advisers. Donald Trump and Warren Buffet are only two of the most well known.
Politicians and candidates appear on talk shows all the time, from Oprah to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and for good reason: to face the people and show a certain level of social consciousness and to make an appearance that they are not above ‘we the people.’ In this economic climate, these candidates need to face someone like the Donald and show that they really understand the economic impact legislation has on the country.
If you plan to be financially free, independent and rich you have to accept an often neglected truth: Debt is slavery.
Yes I know. We have all been sold the line that you must build your credit in order to get a big loan for your life to have any value. That of course means that you must continually have debt, complete with interest that you are perpetually paying off. But who does that really serve? The creditors.
Debt is slavery. Not too long ago in Western countries, this was an accepted reality. Debtor’s prisons were very real, and a person too far behind on payment to his creditors could find himself forced into indentured servitude (slavery) until the debt was worked off, often over several years.
Indentured servitude and direct slavery are less common today. However, if you owe money and you fail to make payments, you can still find yourself in court and eventually see your wages garnished and tax returns seized. A person can in fact find themselves working at their daily jobs just to serve their creditors, or worse the IRS.
Even when you are current on your loan payments, the borrower is still servant to the lender, at least until the debt, complete with interest is paid in full. Don’t doubt it. This is servitude that many people willingly submit themselves to every day in the United States.
Wage-slavery is all too common today and it is often a lifestyle freely chosen by its participants. Debt, unbudgeted and frivolous expenditures, and complacence for working jobs with mediocre pay are all elements that keep you in poverty and effective slavery.
Dave Ramsey describes debt as “using money you don’t have, to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.” There’s some wisdom in those words. Don’t borrow, and then spend your life making payments. Pay yourself first. Save money and then use that capital for investments or large and necessary expenditures. Pay in cash whenever possible. If you can’t afford it, you probably don’t need it.
In a free-market capitalist economy you hold the keys to your own chains. Your personal behavior will dictate the amount of wealth you achieve in this life, and the level of freedom you experience. Don’t be a Slave.